Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thankful Tuesday: One Family's Hero

The FP Rescue Heroes have always been one Jonas' favourites toys
but none can hold a candle to his real life pediatrician.

This week, I'd like to express my extreme gratitude for Jonas's pediatrician, Dr. Saunderson. She's AWESOME!! Since the day he was born, she's always made time for us when we have questions or concerns, and has never once made us feel inadequate as parents even when we felt like we were. She's a gift from heaven, I'd say.

We met with her today to talk about Jonas's ADHD. This was an important review for all of us. It's been about 10 months since he was diagnosed and about 8 since he started his medication. Today we mostly talked about how we're all coping and came up with some new strategies to move forward. There have been a lot of changes in since November, some better, some worse and all evolving. The medication has been helping but it's a mixed blessing and not a magical cure. (And no, we never expected it to be.) It's one one small part of an equation that includes parenting, nutrition, sleep, exercise, teaching strategies, classroom accommodations, his own self-development and, of course, the village. It's like an on-going experiment to figure out what the challenges are what the best strategies are to manage them. 

ADHD isn't often a stand alone diagnosis, and it isn't with Jonas either. Although the core symptoms of ADHD are inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, many children with ADHD have co-morbid conditions (What a yucky term!) In addition to his combined type ADHD (he has all three classic characteristics), Jonas has symptoms of LD (Learning Disabilities), anxiety, depression, ODD and eating disorders. Add to those a family history of chronic depression, anxiety, and learning disabilities and these quickly become very real fears for us. Diagnosis and treatment are slow processes, so these fears loom out there on the near horizon, keeping us on edge.

Dr. Saunderson is fantastic with Jonas but he isn't only him that is her patient, it's our family. It's fair to say that we get overwhelmed sometimes. We get confused, worry and doubt our parenting skills. We get mad, we get sad and we cry. Dr. Saunderson gets all that. She gives us her time, her ear and her experience and I will be forever grateful!


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